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Updated: 5 hours 52 min ago

Trump's Feud With McConnell Could Cost Some GOP Senators Their Seats

7 hours 55 min ago

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A feud between President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could jeopardize some Republican lawmakers' reelections.

Trump has taken aim at Sen. Jeff Flake, the Arizona Republican who recently wrote a book that criticized the president. He's facing a primary challenger whom Trump seems to favor.

Great to see that Dr. Kelli Ward is running against Flake Jeff Flake, who is WEAK on borders, crime and a non-factor in Senate. He's toxic!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017

Tensions between McConnell and the president haven't improved since Trump sent out three tweets criticizing McConnell's work passing legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare. That was after McConnell said Trump had "excessive expectations" for how fast things worked in the Capitol. 

SEE MORE: Trump's Trip To Arizona Poses A Delicate Problem For Politicians

Since then, Trump has faced a flurry of conservative criticism over his response to violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. There have even been questions about whether he'll top the Republican ticket in 2020.

At least one more Republican senator is facing a primary challenger running between him and Trump. 

Sen. Dean Heller will face off against Danny Tarkanian, who's called him "one of the first 'Never Trumpers' in Nevada." 

Angela Merkel Opens Bilateral Talks With Mario At Gaming Convention

8 hours 41 min ago

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has given a lot of speeches throughout her political career, but today was a little different. Today she gave a speech about video games and how great they are.

The political figure opened up this year's Gamescom — formerly the world's largest public gaming convention — with a speech to more than 500 guests and journalists.

Merkel said to the crowd: "Computer and video games are of the utmost importance as cultural assets, as a driving force for innovation and as an economic factor."

In her speech, Merkel also said Germany wants to get better at supporting game developers and improve broadband speeds in some parts of the country.

SEE MORE: Donald Trump And Angela Merkel's First Photo Op Was A Bit Awkward

After opening the convention, the chancellor toured the convention floor and played some "Farming Simulator." Microsoft even made a special Minecraft avatar just for her.

With an election in September, critics are speculating Merkel is using Gamescom to garner younger supporters.

Days before the convention, Merkel was even answering questions about things like her favorite emoji during her first-ever YouTube Live interview.

(In case you were wondering, her favorite emoji is a smiley face — sometimes a smiley face with hearts.)

No matter the reason for her appearance, Merkel's visit to Gamescom — and the pictures that resulted from it — gave the internet something new to chuckle at.

GOP Breaks New Ground On Tax Reform Talks

9 hours 40 min ago

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Republicans in the legislative and executive branch are hoping they can come together on tax reform for a huge legislative win. And a small team from Congress and the Trump administration have apparently taken huge strides in making that happen.

The team, calling themselves "The Big 6," consists of bigwigs in Congress, like House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Orrin Hatch and Rep. Kevin Brady along with President Trump's director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Sources say that group has reached consensus on some ways to pay for tax cuts on the individual and corporate level, which is a lot further than tax reform talks have gotten as of late. The main part of the reform that relates to most Americans is simplifying the tax code to just three tax brackets with cuts across the board.

As for the corporate side of things, it's likely the rate will land between 22-25 percent. The president has pushed for a 15 percent corporate tax rate, but experts say that's unrealistic without some type of new tax coming with it.

And that's one of the keys to passing tax reform — the cuts need to be balanced by new revenue. Congressional rules mean Republicans can't pass a tax reform bill that adds to the deficit without leaving it vulnerable to a Democratic filibuster.

SEE MORE: GOP Faction Fights Could Sink Tax Reform, Too

Any bill that leadership hammers out still has to get through both chambers of Congress where ideological differences still linger between GOP factions — those divides sunk health care.

Tax reform is something that really gets Republicans of all stripes going. But it can also reveal cracks in a party over how it should be approached. That's always made a big tax overhaul such a hard thing for anyone to pass.

Trump's Afghanistan Strategy Relies On India And Pakistan

9 hours 51 min ago

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President Trump's newly revealed Afghanistan strategy goes beyond Afghanistan — it involves India and Pakistan as well.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters the White House viewed cooperation from India and Pakistan as necessary to ending the fight in Afghanistan.

"This is a regional approach, and part of why this effort took as long as it did is we chose not to just focus on Afghanistan," Tillerson said

Tillerson said the U.S. would up the pressure on Pakistan to stop housing the terrorist networks that are fueling the war in Afghanistan. Pakistan has suffered plenty of severe domestic terrorist attacks as well; Tillerson said cooperating with the U.S. could help stem those attacks.

SEE MORE: There Are Likely Few (If Any) Good Options For The US In Afghanistan

India, on the other hand, is already pouring billions of dollars into propping up the Afghanistan government. But Trump wants India to do more on that front and is threatening its trade with the U.S. if it doesn't.

"India makes billions of dollars in trade with the United States. And we want them to help us more with Afghanistan, especially in the area of economic assistance," Trump said.

It will be tough to work with the two rival nations on Afghanistan. Trump's embrace of India is already turning off Pakistani officials who accuse India of funding militants who carry out terrorism in Pakistan.

But according to Tillerson, working with nearby nations like this is something the U.S. needs to get more in the habit of doing.

Tillerson said: "I think too often we try to distill these challenges down to where it's just the U.S. and some other country, and only between the two of us can we solve it. We have to enlarge the circle."

Sony Just Became The First Major Label To Officially Allow Remixing

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 23:28

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Sony is tackling a major gray area in the music industry: remixes.

The company announced Tuesday it would partner with Dubset Media, a company that streamlines the remix copyright process.  Sony hopes the partnership will protect its artists, better monetize its music, legitimize remixers and give mixed music a stronger presence on music streaming platforms like Spotify or Apple Music.

This is all possible thanks to Dubset's Mixbank platform, which will make it easier to track and monetize remixes produced with music from Sony's catalogue.

Sony says the music industry is currently missing out on billions in revenue due to the difficulties of monetizing user-generated content.

Last fall, Dubset was responsible for getting remixes up on Spotify and Apple Music.

And earlier this year, Dubset announced it had finished a $4 million round of funding. The company has been endorsed by big-name DJs like David Guetta and Tiesto.

SEE MORE: SoundCloud Isn't Going Anywhere — And A New CEO Is Taking The Reins

This is big news for the music industry, which has never played too nicely with remixers.

Right now, remixers don't make much money from their work. DJ A-Trak told Forbes that remixers generally get paid a flat fee and don't receive royalties. He said this is because labels still perceive remixed music to be the work of the original artist, not the remixer.

Even professional DJs like A-Trak might not know what the going rate for remixes is, and this lack of information makes it difficult for artists to monetize their work. 

It's unclear if Sony's move will help remixers get more compensation for their work, but legalizing remixes would at least help keep their work online. Currently, mixed music risks being removed from streaming platforms for copyright infringement.

For consumers, this means that more remixes will get a lot easier to find and listen to.

Dubset's CEO told Techcrunch he estimated "700 million people are listening to mixed content every month." This demand might be incentive enough for other music labels to join in on legalizing remixes — and Dubset is reportedly already in talks with other large labels.

So, who doesn't benefit from this news? Soundcloud.

Because SoundCloud is a sort of safe haven for remixes and user-generated content, the distribution of remixes on Spotify and Apple Music could be the final nail in the coffin for the struggling music streaming service.

Petition Calls On White House To Label This Far-Left Group Terrorists

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 23:28

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More than 250,000 people have signed a petition calling on the White House to label "antifa" as a terrorist organization. It's one group President Donald Trump seemed to say was also to blame for violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"What about the alt-left that came charging at the — as you say, the 'alt-right'?" Trump said. "What about the fact that they came charging, that they came charging with clubs in their hands swinging clubs?"

"Antifa," shorthand for "anti-fascist" or "anti-fascist action," is often a mix of far-left ideologies — communists, socialists, anarchists, and so on — with one unifying goal: to fight back against fascists and neo-Nazis "by any means necessary."

Groups that identify as "antifa" have been called "hard-left," since they generally oppose more centrist liberal policies or agendas. They use tactics like brute force and "direct action" to combat groups that they see as condoning racism, sexism, or other forms of oppression. 

A common tactic of "antifa" is the "black bloc." That's when a group of "antifa" don all black — including some type of face covering, like masks or sunglasses. They then either push back against "alt-right" demonstrators — like we saw in Charlottesville and back in Berkeley, California — or disrupt an event and damage property, like on Trump's Inauguration Day.

"Antifa" groups first popped up in response to Italian fascist Benito Mussolini and the National Socialist German Workers' Party — aka the Nazis — in Germany. In the U.S., anti-fascism grew as a response to the rapid growth of racist groups, like the Ku Klux Klan, in the 1980s. More recently, "antifa" interest has spiked with Trump's election. Popular anti-fascist website It's Going Down has seen a huge jump in traffic in the last year. 

The petition has gained more than 250,000 signatures in just a few days. It argues that terrorism is "the use of violence and intimidation in pursuit of political aims" and blames the group for violence against police officers.

SEE MORE: The Alt-Left Media: One More Sign People Are Looking For Echo Chambers

Now that the petition has the required number of signatures, the White House has 60 days to respond.

Trump Scraps Federal Climate Change Advisory Panel

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 22:25

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The Trump administration just disbanded another federal advisory panel. This one examined the effects of climate change. 

The National Climate Assessment Panel came to an end Sunday. Here's why that matters. 

The group is tasked with evaluating a federal climate report and giving recommendations to the administration based on its findings. The report is mandated by Congress every four years to assess the state of climate change in our country and its potential effects. 

A draft leaked in early August showed temperatures have risen drastically over the past few decades and human actions are likely to blame.

Some researchers told news outlets they were concerned that information would be buried or altered by the Trump administration before it had a chance to go public.  

There doesn't seem to be proof that would happen. But with no expert panel to interpret the report, government agencies could struggle to apply its findings to their jobs.

President Trump and his administration have already made it clear that climate change isn't exactly a top priority.

SEE MORE: The EPA Just Removed Climate Change Info From Its Website

Trump recently pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement and Environmental Protection Agency director Scott Pruitt has questioned the scientific consensus that carbon dioxide is a main contributor to global warming.

Pruitt does believe that climate change is occurring but says the extent of human impact on that process is debatable.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the federal report will still be completed by next year despite the panel's dissolution. 

A Case For White Supremacists Needing Reparations

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 22:13

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"This country has a big problem," said the director of research at the Whitney Plantation in Wallace, Louisiana. "There's a problem here because there's something that was never fixed, and people are still suffering from it: the legacies of slavery."

The Whitney Plantation in Wallace, Louisiana, is one of many plantations along the state's River Road. We visited the Whitney Plantation to speak to its director of research, Ibrahima Seck. We asked him about the plantation's history and how what happened there still affects us today. 

SEE MORE: Before The Boat: Life In An African Slave Castle

"This museum was built in order to tell the story of slavery," Seck said. "We must always remember the wealth and power of this country was built on slavery. … This superpower started on the unpaid wages of millions of black people." 

Slavery boosted economic development in the U.S. By the mid-19th century, most slaves in the U.S. worked on cotton plantations. And at one point, the slaves in the South produced 60 percent of the world's cotton while working in horrific conditions. 

But Seck believes it isn't the horrors of slavery, but rather Confederate nostalgia that still has a hold on some Americans.

"They just cannot forget about it," Seck said. "They just removed the statues from the landscape in New Orleans. … Those statues are gone, and people are still fighting to maintain those statues."

SEE MORE: Why Confederate Monuments Exist In The First Place

"Reparations is not only for black people," Seck said. "If you fix only the problem of black people and don't fix the minds of the white supremacists, their problem will not dissolve totally. You need to act on both sides and bring everybody together and turn this country into a country of freedom, a country of welfare and wellness for everybody."

So how should this issue be addressed? Seck believes it starts with educating people about America's slave history. 

"Education has to be the cornerstone of reparations," Seck said. "Truth is like fire. Someone may sit on it, but not for too long. And I think that fire is burning."

If You Haven't Heard Of Raven Rock, You're On Your Own When Nukes Hit

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 21:47

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If an enemy ever launches a nuclear attack on the U.S. or if some other national catastrophe happens, the federal government is likely far more ready to protect its highest-level officials than you. Secret government facilities are in place to shelter thousands of government workers in hollowed-out mountains, a bunker in Omaha, under a historic hotel and more. One of these bunkers is Raven Rock.

The interview that follows features Garrett Graff, author of the new book "Raven Rock: The Story of the U.S. Government's Secret Plan to Save Itself — While the Rest of Us Die." Graff and Newsy's "The Why" host Chance Seales discuss the history of these bunkers and the author's surprising discovery of Raven Rock.

SEE MORE: Hackers Are Targeting Nuclear Plants And Critical Infrastructure

Get a deeper understanding of the stories that matter with Newsy's "The Why" — weekdays 7-9 p.m. ET.

Mark Wahlberg And Emma Stone Reveal Hollywood's Gender Pay Gap

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 20:49

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It appears this isn't the year for gender pay equality in Hollywood. Forbes released its annual list of highest-paid actors and actresses, and there was a big difference between the two. 

The outlet measured income earned from June 2016 to June 2017. 

With $68 million before taxes, Mark Wahlberg sits at No. 1 on the actors side. Forbes attributes the bulk of his earnings to fees from the latest "Transformers" — which was widely considered a flop — and "Daddy's Home 2" — which hasn't even come out yet. 

Dwayne Johnson followed a similar path to get to No. 2. He earned $65 million thanks to a flop in "Baywatch" and a yet-to-be-released "Jumanji" sequel — though the latest "Fast and Furious" and his HBO show "Ballers" did find success. 

Compare Wahlberg and Johnson to Emma Stone — this year's highest-paid actress — who made $39 million less than either of them. 

Her earnings came primarily from her role in "La La Land," which made over $440 million worldwide on a budget in the tens of millions.  

Stone recently told Out Magazine that throughout her career, she's needed her male co-stars to take pay cuts for there to be parity. 

She didn't name names, but if Ryan Gosling — her "La La Land" co-star — was one of them, his 2017 earnings still put him at 14th on the actors list. 

Forbes' associate editor told The Telegraph action movies, especially superhero movies, are a big reason why actresses are making less.

SEE MORE: This Country Could Be The First To Outlaw The Gender Pay Gap

She noted these movies are often the ones making the most money, as well as the ones most likely to generate sequels where the actors can aggressively negotiate. 

Forbes also notes Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Lawrence, the No. 2 and No. 3 highest-paid actresses, actually made more money from endorsements than from their roles on screen this year. 

There Are Likely Few (If Any) Good Options For The US In Afghanistan

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 20:26

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For years as a private citizen and then as a presidential candidate, President Donald Trump advocated for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan. But now that he's commander in chief, the realities of a 16-year-old war offer increasingly unattractive options — both for the military and for the president as he seeks political wins.

Newsy spoke with Andrew Egger, a reporter for The Weekly Standard, who discussed how Trump's inner circle convinced him to follow the path forward in Afghanistan.

SEE MORE: How Afghanistan Reacted To Trump's Military Plans For The Country

Get a deeper understanding of the stories that matter with Newsy's "The Why" — weekdays 7-9 p.m. ET.

How Countries Outside The US Have Handled Controversial Statues

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 19:50

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The debate around removing statues and monuments isn't new and certainly isn't exclusive to the U.S.

"There are a range of options available dealing with these very controversial monuments," journalist Laurence Blair said. "It's not just a case of knock it down or leave it there."

In Paraguay, for example, a statue of a former dictator was creatively re-invented. Journalist Laurence Blair reports on South America and noticed the statue when he lived in Paraguay.

"Carlos Colombino, this artist came up with his idea to do what he did, which was cut it up into bits, stick it between two bits of concrete and put it into a plaza ... which commemorates those who disappeared under [Alfredo] Stroessner's regime," Blair said.

SEE MORE: Why Confederate Monuments Exist In The First Place

For countries around the world with complicated histories — like colonization or strict authoritarian leaders — removing statues from public areas can be seen as a way to move forward.

In Taiwan, a memorial hall and buzzing tourist spot has a massive bronze statue of Chiang Kai-shek, a former dictator. But some lawmakers in the country want it removed.

Chiang was pro-China and once ordered troops to calm down rallies in Taiwan, which lead to the deaths of at least 18,000 people.

Chiang memorials in other parts of the country are looming reminders of Chinese colonialism, not Taiwanese nationalism. Many of the statues have been moved to a park in Taoyuan, Taiwan.

"This process of removal can actually be a healing process," Blair said. 

Healing is what some in South Africa say they wanted as they demanded a statue of Cecil Rhodes, a former British colonist, to be removed from the University of Cape Town.

"A statue has a purpose, and it has a real-life effect, whether we admit it or not," Blair said. 

But removing a statue, and some would say that act also removes the history the statue represents, can be extremely divisive.

"Statues and monuments are not neutral," Blair said. "They're not a sort of impartial dispassionate record of some moment in history. They are always incredibly political in terms of when they were put up, why they were put up, for what reason. And I think some people can say they're somehow sacred or they can't be touched because a part of history, I think, is kind of denying a little bit what's going on behind the statue."

So, what's the resolution? Blair has a suggestion:

"A good compromise to those saying, in different contexts saying: 'You know, we can't erase history.' We have to remember the past is to say, 'OK, fine. The statue is going to be altered or changed, but what we are going to do is impose mandatory education about these figures in school, and we're going to discuss really who they were. We're going to really get to the bottom of it.'"

Education is an approach Germany uses now, after erasing Nazi monuments around the country.

"I think if the people who are defending the statues would listen to that idea, then maybe defending history isn't what they're main motivation is," Blair said.

Of course, removing a statue doesn't mean a country suddenly is reborn.

When the Saddam Hussein statue in Iraq was brought down, it marked the end of his bronze legacy, but it didn't reverse his impact on the country.

"If you want to keep a statue, fine keep it," Blair said, "but let's do something to show it's not being honored, it's not being worshiped; we're putting it in context, so it's actually a bit more of an inclusive monument."

US Just Sanctioned Russian, Chinese Entities For Supporting N. Korea

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 18:35

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The U.S. is imposing new sanctions on Chinese and Russian companies and on individuals accused of helping North Korea with its ballistic missile and nuclear programs.

On Tuesday, the Treasury Department announced sanctions against 10 entities and six individuals the agency says did business with North Korea in ways that supported the country's weapons programs.

Among those sanctioned are six Chinese companies, two Singapore-based companies, a Russian company and four Russian nationals.

SEE MORE: Elon Musk Says AI Poses More Risk Than North Korea

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the new sanctions are meant to further isolate North Korea after its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons tests.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized China, in particular, for not doing enough to stop its neighbor's weapons programs.

Beijing said it supports the tough sanctions the United Nations imposed on the reclusive nation earlier this month. But many Chinese companies are still doing business with the North Korean government anyway.

The Now-Infamous HBO Hackers Are At It Again

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 17:56

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The "Game of Thrones" hacking saga continues — this time, with threats to release the season finale.

Mashable reports the group of hackers, who go by "Mr. Smith," are planning to release this season's finale episode "as soon as possible."

The group also claims to have login information for "almost every single HBO social media account."

This latest threat comes after a series of HBO leaks over the past few weeks. In July, the anonymous group of hackers claimed to have 1.5 terabytes of network data, including scripts, cast information and unaired episodes of HBO shows.

SEE MORE: Police Arrest 4 In Connection With 'Game Of Thrones' Leak

Since then, the group has doled out personal information of members of the "Game of Thrones" cast, leaked episodes of multiple shows and demanded at least $6 million in ransom.

Mashable says it reached out to HBO for comment. The network reportedly pointed to an earlier statement saying the situation is "a game we're not going to participate in."

Some Doctors Are Trying To Change Easy Access To Opioids

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 16:35

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There is no one reason for the rise of opioid addiction in the U.S., but doctors willing to freely prescribe painkillers was inarguably a factor. Patient satisfaction and how that affected government payments to hospitals also contributed.

The interview that follows features Dr. Buck Parker, a trauma surgeon based out of Salt Lake City. Dr. Parker and Newsy's "The Why" host Cristina Mutchler talk about the balancing act doctors must now perform to keep their patients healthy, not simply happy.

SEE MORE: Moving The Needle: Saving Lives In The Heroin Crisis

Get a deeper understanding of the stories that matter with Newsy's "The Why" — weekdays 7-9 p.m. ET.

Trump's Trip To Arizona Poses A Delicate Problem For Politicians

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 15:43

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President Donald Trump's campaign-style rally planned for Tuesday in Phoenix puts some politicians in an awkward spot. 

The city's mayor, who's a Democrat, asked last week that the president reschedule his visit amid growing backlash in response to Trump's take on the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Trump condemned the KKK, the so-called alt-right and white supremacists involved in the violence, but he has continued to say counterprotesters are also to blame

Also complicating Trump's Phoenix rally: his potential pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt after his department failed to follow a court order to stop racial profiling practices.

The state's Republican governor, Doug Ducey, told news outlet the Arizona Republic he plans to skip the rally but will still greet Trump when his plane touches down in the state. 

A political science professor told the Arizona Republic the handshake on the tarmac is the  "least public way possible" for Ducey to show respect to Trump.

The professor noted that Ducey is up for re-election next year, so he needs to appeal to voters with various of opinions of Trump if he wants to hold on to his position. 

SEE MORE: Trump Set To Kick Off 2020 Fundraising Tour To Bolster His Presidency

A different Republican Arizona lawmaker has already learned what can happen to your base if you appear critical of Trump. 

U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake is known as one of the loudest Trump critics in the Republican party, as well as one of the least popular senators in the U.S.  

Last week, Trump actively campaigned against Flake, who's up for re-election next year. 

Johnson & Johnson Defends Baby Powder Safety After Losing Another Suit

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 15:35

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Johnson & Johnson has lost yet another lawsuit related to the talc found in its trademark baby powder.

On Monday, a Los Angeles jury ordered the company to pay a whopping $417 million to a woman who developed ovarian cancer after using the powder every day for decades.

The woman claimed Johnson & Johnson knew about the potential risks of using its talcum-based products but didn't warn the public.

Thousands of other women across the country have filed similar lawsuits against the company after getting a cancer diagnosis.

Only a handful of those cases have gone to trial so far, but most of the verdicts have gone against Johnson & Johnson. And the company was forced to fork over millions of dollars as a result.

SEE MORE: Where You Live Could Affect Your Cancer Risk

Johnson & Johnson has continued to stand behind its talcum powder products because it says science has determined they're safe to use.

Talc is a mineral made up of magnesium, silicon and oxygen. In powder form, talc absorbs moisture and helps reduce friction, which is why many people use it to keep their skin dry and prevent rashes.

But research on consumer products containing talc has had mixed results.

The American Cancer Society notes several studies have suggested "a very slight increase" in risk of ovarian cancer for women who use talc-based powders for personal hygiene.

Still, scientists have yet to find a definitive link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, and they say it could be difficult to do that.

How Afghanistan Reacted To Trump's Military Plans For The Country

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 14:43

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Afghanistan seems to be on board with President Donald Trump's pledge to reinvest military resources in the area.

Trump outlined his strategy for Afghanistan on Monday in Fort Myer, Virginia. The announcement was short on details, but Trump repeatedly said U.S. troops will "win" and said the U.S. will aim to prevent "the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan."

Trump said: "My original instinct was to pull out, and historically, I like following my instincts. But all my life I've heard that decisions are different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office. ... The consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable."

The U.S. has been on the ground fighting in Afghanistan since 2001. Currently, about 8,300 U.S. troops are in the country.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said he was grateful for Trump recommitting to the war and for having U.S. support. The chief executive in Afghanistan and Afghanistan's ambassador to the U.S. shared similar sentiments.

SEE MORE: John McCain Proposes A New Strategy For The War In Afghanistan

The Taliban also responded to Trump's vague plan.

The group said, "It looks like America does not want to put an end to its longest war, and instead of realizing the realities, it still is arrogant on its might and force." 

The group recommitted to its fight against the U.S.

But The Washington Post reports commentators and others were hesitant to accept Trump's strategy and pointed out he didn't explicitly say how the U.S. will handle the Taliban.

Navy Orders 'Operational Pause' After 4 Incidents In The Pacific

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 13:53

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The U.S. Navy is ordering all of its ships to briefly suspend operations following a collision between a destroyer and a merchant ship.

The Navy's top officer, Adm. John Richardson, said the upcoming "operational pause" will ensure each ship is being run safely. 

Ten American sailors were reported missing after the USS John S. McCain collided with a 30,000-ton chemical and oil tanker east of Singapore Monday morning local time. 

On Tuesday, the Navy announced some remains had been located inside the McCain but that it's still working on identification. 

Richardson also ordered a more in-depth review of how the Navy trains its forces who are deployed to the Pacific.

That's because the McCain collision — which resulted in "significant damage" to the hull — is one of four Naval incidents to occur in the Pacific so far this year. 

SEE MORE: President Trump Recommits US To Afghanistan War

Part of the USS Antietam was damaged when it ran aground in Tokyo Bay, Japan, in January. 

In May, the USS Lake Champlain hit a fishing boat off the Korean Peninsula. 

And seven sailors died on board the USS Fitzgerald when it collided with a merchant vessel off the coast of Japan back in June. 

Richardson told reporters the operational pause will be arranged so all fleets aren't out of commission at the same time. 

President Trump Recommits US To Afghanistan War

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 03:06

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President Donald Trump outlined his Afghanistan policy in a speech at Fort Myer, Virginia, on Monday night. Basically, Trump is calling for more U.S. troops in the country.

Trump said: "My original instinct was to pull out, and historically, I like following my instincts. But all my life I've heard that decisions are different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office. ... The consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable."

The U.S. has been on the ground in Afghanistan since October 2001. Since then, there have been as many as 100,000 American troops in the country at one time. More than 2,200 U.S. troops have died there.

Right now, about 8,300 U.S. troops are in Afghanistan. And the mission has been bogged down by green-on-blue attacks, successful Taliban raids and turncoats within the Afghan military.

report to Congress estimates the Afghan government controls just under 60 percent of the country's districts. Security officials have called the situation with the Taliban a "stalemate."

SEE MORE: John McCain Proposes A New Strategy For The War In Afghanistan

The president returned to Washington, D.C., on Sunday after a more than two-week vacation in Bedminster, New Jersey. During that period, Trump made headlines several times for his comments on North Korea and the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

He warned that North Korea would be met with "fire and fury like the world has never seen" after the country said it was considering a plan to launch a missile strike on the U.S. territory of Guam. A few days later, he said "many sides" were responsible for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left three people dead. Trump then seemingly doubled down on that statement in a press conference intended to be about infrastructure; several Republicans rebuked Trump's statements. Trump shut down two advisory boards after a number of business leaders stepped down in protest.

Trump alluded to the controversies by saying: "As we send our bravest to defeat our enemies overseas – and we will always win – let us find the courage to heal our divisions within."

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